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I have an 02 Passat and we looked at the battery after reading about most of them NOT being sealed. Mine has a built in handle on it and I can see NO place whatsoever to pry up to put in water. My husband insists it is a sealed battery. This is the original battery, though. Did some VW's come with a sealed battery? The only sticker on top is a caution sticker regarding acid inside. It definitely looks like a very solid top with the built-in handle. Any suggestions or answers?? Thanks!
 

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Your battery is likely a 'maintenance free' battery not a 'sealed' battery. The difference is a maintenance free battery has vents to release the gas pressure that builds up with charging whereas a sealed battery (like an Optima) does not need to vent as it is an entirely different type of cell.

The pisser about maintenance free batteries is they are exactly the same as your average battery but they don't allow any preventative maintenance or inspection, you just have to buy a new one when it craps out.
 

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I have an 02 Passat and we looked at the battery after reading about most of them NOT being sealed. Mine has a built in handle on it and I can see NO place whatsoever to pry up to put in water. My husband insists it is a sealed battery. This is the original battery, though. Did some VW's come with a sealed battery? The only sticker on top is a caution sticker regarding acid inside. It definitely looks like a very solid top with the built-in handle. Any suggestions or answers?? Thanks!
My '03 has a battery that looks like it is maintenance-free, but it isn't. I peeled back the stickers that go across the top of the battery to reveal the caps. You'll need a quarter to twist them open. If you've never opened them, you can bet that you'll need to add distilled water to each cell.

Another clue was the "magic eye" that shows the condition of the battery. It may have, at its edges, grooves to twist it open (again, using a quarter coin to do so).

I'll bet that it's not a maintenance-free battery. But remember what "VW" stands for - "Varies Widely."
 

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Peel the stickers off, there are probably caps under there like Altair says. Use distilled water only.
not on mine,i have three vw oem batteries (bought one from dealer when i was in for a recall a few years ago,same price as die-hard at time $99.00other are pre-delivery cpo warranty replaced batteries ) on my three vw,s and all are maint free w/no cells or caps under stickers, wish i did!!!!
 

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My original battery(2000MY) was serviceable, I have the battery out of an 2003MY now and I don't know if it is serviceable, i will have to try getting the sticker off tomorrow.
 

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Never listen to a guy......they stink and lie.
??? Everything I read in this thread looks accurate.

By the way, in my book, any 5-year-old car battery is ready for replacement.
 

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not on mine,i have three vw oem batteries (bought one from dealer when i was in for a recall a few years ago,same price as die-hard at time $99.00other are pre-delivery cpo warranty replaced batteries ) on my three vw,s and all are maint free w/no cells or caps under stickers, wish i did!!!!
I don't think any replacement battery I've seen at the dealership is made in Germany. I'll limit my comments to the OEM battery that came with the car from assembly plants in Germany, i.e., Emden or Mosel.

I have no idea what VW uses in other model lines built in Mexico, Brazil, etc.
 

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??? Everything I read in this thread looks accurate.

By the way, in my book, any 5-year-old car battery is ready for replacement.

x2- If you got 5 years you did pretty well. Trying to squeeze a little more out of it hardly outweighs being stuck somewhere waiting for a jump, especially considering it will have to be replaced eventually anyway. Sears has one for about $115, Interstate about $105 and Pep Boys (Bosch) about $90.
 

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Peel the stickers off, there are probably caps under there like Altair says. Use distilled water only.
^^ ^^ ^^

X3 - Most of the "maintenance free" batteries have a place where you can pry the cap off even though they don't want you to because they would rather have you buy a new battery.
But as others have already stated. If the battery is that old you are better off replacing it because you might end up getting stranded somewhere when it dies again.
 

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I don't think any replacement battery I've seen at the dealership is made in Germany. I'll limit my comments to the OEM battery that came with the car from assembly plants in Germany, i.e., Emden or Mosel.

I have no idea what VW uses in other model lines built in Mexico, Brazil, etc.
YES,THE ORIG FACTORY OEM BATTERY HAD CAPS,THE NEWER "OEM" DEALER VW BATTERIES DONT ,UNFORTUNATELY
 

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Sears has one for about $115, Interstate about $105 and Pep Boys (Bosch) about $90.
VW battery at the dealer is $94 (after core charge return of $5)- not that I buy much at the dealer, but I'll get a battery there for that kind of pricing. Didn't want to deal with monkeying around trying to get a different battery to fit, or I would've gotten an Optima. Call me lazy - I just don't like doing all that work outside when the temps are in the 20's and 30's.

2003 with OEM (replaced 2 years ago under warranty) - Maintanence free, no caps on the battery I just replaced
2002 with Original Battery - ditto

What I don't understand is why my 2003 1.8T is now on its 3rd battery (67k on the clock), while my wifes 2002 4mo is still on it's first (50k on the clock).

As stated - VW stands for varies widely (though I've probably just cursed myself).
 
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